Movie

MY DAY WITH SPENT WITH JARED AND THE JOKER
August 4, 2016 11:22 am

Hours before I was set to meet Jared Leto, staring in the highly anticipated Suicide Squad, at an Italian restaurant in the West Village I was awoken out of a dead sleep by a neon-masked jester giggling as he poured ice cold water all over me. I demanded to know what he was doing here, to which he responded, “The Joker will see you now,” in a high pitched cadence. 

The jester then proceeded to take a trumpet out of his satchel with the word “Chaos” bedazzled on it. He masterfully played the tune of Reveille with the brass when suddenly, Jared Leto himself popped on my mattress, cackling sisterly. He was dressed head to toe in his much buzzed about Joker getup, a move that hinted he was still very much in character. Ever respectful of an artist’s craft, I gladly played along. “Oh no, it’s the Joker,” I yelled. “What did I do to ever deserve a visit from anarchy’s son himself?!”

Although the Academy Award winner was deeply immersed in character, I couldn’t help but notice him give a slight wink of appreciation for going along with him on this thespian journey. Which is why, out of respect, I played the helpless and hysterical victim for Leto and his unnamed assistant in mayhem while they attached alligator clamps to my nipples. I still can not decide what was more electric that morning: Leto’s performance or the car battery he used to shock me.

Following a few more downright twisted acts of torture, the My So Called Life star blindfolded me, stuffed me in a burlap sack and tossed me into the back of his car. He drove and drove. Each erratic swerve gave birth to a new bruise. Sweat accumulated onto my shirt so immensely that it began to push down on my chest every time I would try to breathe. The only thing that kept me sane was shouting the questions I had initially planned for our interview. Leto pulled over at one point, only to throw a stink bomb in there with me when I asked him what working with Viola Davis was like. After that, I passed out from the astounding commitment he had to such a sinister character.

joker-suicide-quad-rick-ross-skrillex-purple-lamborghiniWhen I came to, I found myself strapped to a chair in the restaurant I had previously made reservations for. I couldn’t help but smirk at the 30 Seconds To Mars front-man’s demented attention to detail for this sly caper he’s orchestrated. Upon noticing I was up, he bellowed “good morning, Sunshine” loud enough to cause the entire restaurant to look over to our table. The jester was summoned by Leto and asked for him to fetch my ‘present’. After rummaging around his chaos satchel for a little while, he took out a plastic butt with wide circular hole in between cheeks and a clock attached to it counting down from 6 minutes. Leto thanked him by petting him under his chin like a dog, to which the jester stamped his leg up and down repeatedly.

The waiter came to take our order. I asked for a Caesar salad with ranch dressing on the side. Leto asked for a hot bowl of madness. Seamlessly, the jester then took the waiter’s pepper grinder and immediately began playing to its phallic nature. The comedic brilliance was upped when Leto dropped to his knees and confessed how been longing to taste some flavorful wood.  The chemistry between the two was palpable for everyone.  As we were being escorted out of the restaurant by the manager, the countdown butt I was ordered to hold hit zero. Confetti sprang out of the butt’s hole, landing on someone’s pasta primavera.

Back in the trunk, I gnawed out of the newly wrapped tape around my mouth to thank Jared for such a breathtaking dinner. To have front row seats to his performance-art tour de force inspired me in ways I never thought imaginable. His brilliance will not be forgotten. The jester took a power saw to the backseat in order to create a hole to the trunk. He jutted his head into the hole and spat on me.

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Once I felt myself being tossed from the trunk to my front lawn, I knew the interview was over. But before he tailed off into the sunset, Leto whispered into my ear about his gratitude for being granted the opportunity to let someone in on his process. It was easy to see that this role would be nothing without late Heath Ledger’s work in the iconic Dark Knight and how working with Viola Davis and the entire Suicide Squad was a dream come true. “We’re all lucky enough to have the greatest jobs in the world and we worked tirelessly to make sure what we were marking would be loved by all who saw it. It was a collaborative effort all the way through.”

Before I got the opportunity to thank him, Jared Leto was back in his Jokermobile. His jester, having just cherry bombed my mailbox, ran in through the window of the moving vehicle to make the getaway appear as wildly slapdash as possible. Leto’s feral laughter was heard as he and his jester tossed molotov cocktails at all of my neighbors’ houses. Despite the claims of arson, the only fire I saw that day came from Leto’s unflinching dedication to authenticity.

Suicide Squad hits theaters this Friday, August 5th. Find out more about the chaotic group hereget tickets here and check out more Jared Leto here.

THE BUNKER: LIVE ACTION VIDEO GAMES
July 18, 2016 12:12 pm

Have you ever watched a horror movie and began yelling at the screen, trying your darndest to get the character to avoid a certain hallway or a creepy door? Splendy Interactive has created a new wonderful blend of scary cinema and visceral video games to deal with obvious dumb decisions in movies.

The Bunker is a fully live action video game. No animated characters, no fantastic super powers, this is a game about a man that was born and now lives alone in a nuclear bunker. This is a click and choose game where you tell the main character, John, where to go. Adam Brown, from the Hobbit Trilogy, plays Adam and the cast is more impressive than expected, it looks like a genuine, high-end horror movie.

Splendy Interactive has also created one of the scariest app games called The Hunting, a zombie survival game that can really give a person a good scare if they are even slightly immersed into it. They are finishing up everything with The Bunker now, getting ready for its launch later this year and working on an interactive mystery, horror, movie/video game hybrid called Camera 6 which is slated to arrive next year in March.

The Bunker was filmed in an abandoned nuclear bunker which gives it that perfect true environment, sucking its player into the world. The game, on a technical level, is crazy good with countless hours of filming to achieve the feeling of being in total, fluid control of the main character. I couldn’t imagine the difficulty in writing this story or filming it; a truly outstanding feat.

The concept and execution of what I’ve seen so far is astounding. It’s enthralling while never becoming annoying or gimmicky. This blend of game and film has been tried many times before, but with releases like Her Story and The Bunker coming soon, live action games are more respectable and are offering better experiences for the players.

Will it be a lame horror movie? Will it be an excellent game? Will it be so scary and disconcerting that you can’t make any decisions and choose the dumb things all horror genre character do anyways? Either way, Splendy gets major kudos for being wonderfully creative and making games literally come to life.

MY PLEA FOR JAY-Z TO STAR IN THE NEXT GROWN UPS
June 9, 2016 2:30 pm

I’ve been using Tidal for a few months now. When I first joined, I thought that it’s horribleness was just a meme meant to make fun of Jay-Z and the product itself wouldn’t be so bad. As it turns out, all of the hype is to be believed. Tidal is horrible. I don’t even want to go into detail about it, please, just take my word for it. Do not use Tidal. Jay-Z, one of my all time favorite rappers, had lead me down a rotten path.

But because I’m lazy, and because I know he’s gonna get Kanye too keep Cruel Winter exclusive to Tidal for at least a month, I’m sticking with the misery like a 1950s marriage. Ever since I’ve drastically lowered my standards, it’s actually been pretty okay, kinda! So when the Brooklyn rapper’s streaming service kept sending me alerts last week, insisting that I listen to Pusha T’s new single “Drug Dealers Anonymous” featuring Jay-Z, I naturally obliged.

What followed that was a less than an ideal experience. Holding up his end of the Drug Dealer bargain, Pusha had his exemplary cocaine kingpin raps front and center as usual and I was grateful for every second of it. After Pusha came Jay-Z, which is when things got ugly.

Having already expressed some real hatred over hashtags and retweets on his last record, Jay is no stranger to showing flashes of his true corny middle aged dad self. However, that was three years ago, and all of his paternal cantankerousness was spread across Magna Carta Holy Grail well enough for it to be a non-issue. His Corny Dad levels have increased dramatically since then, though. He is now fully infected with Corniness.

The verse Jay had on “Drug Dealers Anonymous” was ripe with a myriad of ‘Back In My Days’ to choose from, as well as an attempt to reach out to us snake people™ by ending it with him saying “Damn, Daniel” in an all too sincere fashion. Yes, “Damn, Daniel.” The internet meme that has swept the nation. And to counterbalance that, he went into the Hip Slang time machine to retrieve ‘Bling Bling’ from 1999 a few lines prior. It was rough. And that’s without even even mentioning the ‘Google Me, Baby’ part.

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Seriously, it was rough.

To put it lightly, 2016 hasn’t been the best year for Jay. It’s bad enough that he’s lost his touch as a rapper and Tidal continues to get nothing but venom from the masses, but after Beyonce released Lemonade, her world-stopping, deeply personal memoir of an album about unfaithfulness, his image has taken quite a few blows. If we kept track of rapper approval ratings, his would be at Bush levels right about now.

What he needs is a shift in tone. It would tarnish his legacy if he tries to release another album, or if he continues jumping on these tracks, only to embarrass himself. His now rampant Corny Dad aesthetic does not mesh well in the world of Hip-Hop, but there are other outlets more accommodating to this behavior that needs to be embraced as a way to build up some much needed love.

It’s possible he can redeem himself by simply coming off as a relatable father who makes uncomfortable jokes and wears questionable clothing. None of this is a stretch for him. So what can he possibly do to help him be seen as this new persona to the public eye? Simple: star in the next Grown Ups film.

grown ups 2 poster 1For those who don’t know, Grown Ups a huge buddy comedy centered around Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, and David Spade. They all each have a wife, kids, or at least some type of adult responsibility, which is crazy because, like, they’re still basically kids themselves! And boy, oh boy, when they get together, it’s like they’re back in high school all over again. Whether it’s having fun  objectifying their friend’s daughter as a group activity, or public urination, these guys know how to let loose.

Also, if you’re into a little more ‘headier’ comedy, don’t worry, Sandman and Co. have just the thing for ya: Toe based puns! Seriously, nothing makes me smile more than seeing Chris Rock, one of the most thought provoking stand-up comedians of all time, call his mean step-mother ‘Toe-bocop.’ You know, like Robocop, the Peter Weller vehicle. I’ve seen each Grown Ups movie at least 10 times.

I honestly have no clue if they’re even planning on making a Grown Ups 3, this is is all speculation. But if they ever do decide to go for the trifecta, adding Jay-Z to the fold would give this franchise brand new legs. Just imagine all the stale ’99 Problems’ jokes they’d let fly without consequence, never leaving out his penchant for ‘Back In My Day’-ing. Would Jay be able to bring his buddy Memphis Bleek along for the ride? Grown Ups can be the one hit Bleek’s been missing his whole career.

And perhaps the most important benefit here is that it would be hard for the outside world to view Jay as a sexual entity after 90+ minutes of slapsticky pratfalls and inane fart jokes. From a multitude of personal experience, I know this to be true. Beyonce will never have to worry about another affair after Jay unwittingly eats a sandwich that David Spade sneakily put dog poop in after he pulled off a successful “made you look” as a distraction. This seems like a win-win.

By choosing to hone in on a softer, more affable side to his personality, Jay-Z would do wonders rebuilding his good name. Right now, he’s nothing more than a cheating entrepreneur who probably wears a fanny pack when he raps. All he has to do now is stop the rapping and embrace the fanny pack. Giving up being cool can be challenging for someone of Jay-Z’s stature. Thankfully, the entire cast of Grown Ups knows exactly what he’d be going through, as they’ve been through it themselves.

LESS IS MORE: INTREPID BY AO’C
June 1, 2016 12:00 pm

Actress, Producer, Humanitarian, and Fashion Designer.  Is there anything Aerin O’Connell can’t do?

I have been following O’Connell since her line appeared in a Nolcha Fashion Week show in 2015.  Her sleek designs are classic enough to feed my inner debutante and edgy enough to appease the hipster desperately trying to escape.

ATYPICALSOUNDS had the opportunity to chat with Aerin about her Autumn/Winter collection of Intrepid by A’OC at the launch party for the line’s new video. The line goes on sale this month and I will definitely be snagging the tuxedo jumpsuit and the little red dress.

INTREPID by AO’C from Gerry Sievers on Vimeo.

What made you decide to be a designer?

To be completely honest, it was a very gradual process.  It’s not one thing, I had been working in film, and kind of creative across the board but it wasn’t a conscious choice to seek out being a fashion designer.  I love designing in general, whether its jewelry, furniture, clothing.

Do you still design furniture?

Well I’ve been busy doing this, so at the moment no. But it’s something I’d like to explore in the future.

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 12.02.48 PMI heard that you got started with fashion on set. How did you start leading wardrobe teams on set?

My ex-husband had a lot of faith in me to pursue that sort of aspect of film. I had produced, but wardrobe and costumes were something that he and I felt could merge as far as my love for fashion and my love for period pieces. I had gone to the School of Style in Los Angeles, because a stylist isn’t just a personal shopper. I haven’t done much more than shorts and independent films but they were featured.

You based your designs on Edward Hopper. What elements from his paintings did you incorporate into your designs?

I’m obsessed with space, and when you over-complicate scenery, [it over-complicates the] depiction of anything really.  I think this goes back to the synonymous tagline of Intrepid, that less is more. Negative space can speak volumes more than too many objects.  So I’ve always kind of related to that.  You’d look at something like Chicago and a bar, and there’s one guy at the bar, one bartender, and this perspective from across the street. Not many things are in the imagery and that’s more impactful and intense for me. Less is more is something I strive for in my everyday life within fashion, within my apartment, within furniture. It just kind of reigns through in paintings like that. It leaves room for the imagination, for perspective, for interpretation, leaving a lot of it up to the individual. I think that is far more powerful than creating it for them.

Any film plans on the table?

Yes. An old friend/producing partner and I worked on the short film “Woke Up Crying.” The director was John Ibsen, known for international trailers like “The Dark Knight.” Him and I have been working on agreeing on a project. He’s been working on “The Avengers” right now, but it’s going to be a feature. As far as documentaries go, I’m still in post production on my documentary about Liberia, and human rights, mainly women and health issues.

How do you want people to feel when they wear your designs?

Confident.

Did you grow up with an interest in fashion?

I think I always had an addiction for fashion. I loved shopping, it’s how my mother and I would bond, My interest dove deeper when my sister-in-law took me to the Lower East Side or East Village to an antique boutique to find a vintage leather bomber jacket and she sparked that interest for me. But I’ve always been into clothes.

Tell me about your biggest supporters. 

My brother, family in general, special friends in Los Angeles and CJ who has taken over and Kevin Nolan. He’s the reason why I started custom making furniture and jewelry. He also has a flair for design, and an amazing eye for aesthetics, so we’ve teamed up for renovations and other design aspects.

Where do you find inspiration when you’re stuck?

I never seek out inspiration. Inspiration finds you. I really believe in that. You can hide and run but walking out of your door every morning, things will cross your path and will stun you or spark some sort of inspiration. You just have to be willing to receive it.

What are you most proud of with this line?

The fact that I have kept going and I didn’t give up when things got discouraging and that I had the courage to move back to New York and continue what the dream really entails.

What do you have in store for the future?

Stick around and find out.

Do you have plans to head back to LA or are you staying put in New York?

I’d like to be bi-coastal, but I knew that if I wanted to continue this venture it requires my undivided attention, concentration, and seriousness so I’m here until we can get this off the ground.

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Interview has been condensed for publishing.

LET’S TALK ABOUT MEAT
December 8, 2015 6:52 am

Ever sat in a movie theater watching a film that may or may not have anything to do with food, but once a character starts to enjoy something that looks tasty, all of a sudden it becomes the only thing you care about? Well guess what- The annual Food Film Festival brings you the “multisensory food and film experience” meaning that every food you see on screen, you get to taste it right there at that moment! And yes, it’s one of the best movie theater experiences you’ll ever have.

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Photo by Youka Nagase

Opening night of the Food Film Festival at AMC Empire 25 located in the heart of Manhattan, Times Square was packed with food enthusiasts who were ready to watch Tender: Stories of Love and Meat and chow down on all sorts of meat that you can imagine. The VIP pre-party featured a variety from my favorite Hometown BBQ located in Red Hook, Brooklyn. From tender pastrami bacon bites, pork belly bahn mi, to smoked sriracha chicken wings. It was almost impossible to resist the temptation of  filling myself up even before the movie started.

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Photo by Youka Nagase

As the crowd moved into the theatre and got to their seats, the evening started out with “Central Texas Barbecue,” a breathtaking documentary about meat focusing on how “barbecue is more than a way to cook meat- it’s a way of life, a path to salvation, and a sure-fire way to start an argument at the dinner table.” Once we saw the sausages cooking on the grill a tray of sausages were passed on in every aisle so we could taste what we saw. “Course of Food” told a tale about Andy Bowen, a free range pig farmer who leaves quite an impact on the importance of independent farmers. As an animal lover and former vegetarian it’s safe to say that he cares about his animals more than anybody else could. “Growling Local:Pig Not Pork” featured some apple thyme pork loins that I inhaled in a second. The program ended with The Science of the Burger that brought us through the method of creating the perfect burger to satisfy your cravings. Post-screening was followed by a feast of not only meat but just about everything including peanut butter and jelly doughnuts!

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Photo by Youka Nagase

Slip Into The Haze With Elliot Moss
August 3, 2015 9:00 am

Elliot Moss, 21 year-old New York native, has taken a big step into the world of electronic-indie this year. Earlier this spring we caught him opening for Cold War Kids and just recently, we were able to take a second look at his work during the Eaux Claires Music Festival in Eau Claire, WI. And with each performance, Moss expelled his ability to lull you into a deep haze of electronic wonder.

Luckily for us, we were able to chat with Moss and discover some of his favorite things about touring, and being a part of such historical and influential festival.

It’s the inaugural year of the Eaux Claires Music Festival, and many artists here are local. How does it feel to be a part of the line-up?

EM: I’m absolutely honored. Justin has thrown together something really gorgeous. It’s a wonder that this is the first time; you’d never know. It feels like it’s been going on for much longer.

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Being from New York, how do you feel the music scene differentiates from the mid west?

EM: Crowds seem different. They are both very cool, but they behave and react differently. For instance, there are sections of songs in New York where the audience remains focused, like the breakdown in “Faraday Cage.” Here, the crowd erupted during that bit! And it’s the other way around with some passages. It’s fascinating to see how people’s reactions differ from stage to stage.

With the differentiation in crowds, do you see playing in one region more enjoyable?

EM: I wouldn’t say I have a favorite, it’s the combined experiences of all these places that make a tour fulfilling.

You’ve been touring a lot this year, how’s it been going so far? Are you enjoying it?

EM: It’s been really nice, honestly this is my favorite thing. You have no excuse not to be productive when you’ve got so much “van time” on your hands. I spend most of it working on pieces of tunes, mixing, and writing lyrics. The shows have been so much fun. I’ve gotten to see many of these cities for the first time this year (Eau Claire being one of them) and meet a lot of great people.

The last question I always ask every artist is if you could describe your music in one word, what would you say?

EM: In a way it’s cinematic, I try to make things into a movie. So I guess, I would have to say “Movie”? I would like everyone to close his or her eyes and picture a continuous movie.

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I dare you all to close your eyes and listen to Moss’ latest release “Highspeeds” and catch their set on tour with Wild Child this fall. The chilled out vibes that fall so closely to fan favorite Chet Faker will not disappoint, and will keep you wishing for more.

So. What will your hazy movie look like?